The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that 4,889 buses and large trucks were involved in fatal car crashes in 2017. The number was about a 9% increase from the previous years. While the overall number of cases have reduced in the last two years, it would help to know the steps to take if you are ever in a truck accident.
Unlike the typical passenger vehicles, trucks are quite heavy, and an accident can leave victims with severe injuries. If you got injured in a truck accident, you would likely be out of work. The medical bills might also prove overwhelming.
Do you know the right steps to take after a truck accident? Keep reading to get insights on how to go about the issue.
Given the possible severity of a truck accident, you should prioritize your safety if you get in a crash. It is crucial to call emergency services by dialing 9-1-1. When you call the dispatcher, notify them of the number of car occupants to send enough ambulances.
The service will dispatch emergency medical services and the police. Regardless of whether an accident appears minor, getting a police report is crucial. You’ll need the right accident documentation, and a police report is one way you can have an accurate report of the truck accident information.
Often, the police report has witnesses and truckers’ contact information. It has a narrative of events leading to the accident and the officer’s conclusion. The report will prove resourceful when filing a claim with the insurer.
Seek Medical Attention
Immediate medical care, whether or not you have visible injuries, ought to be a priority. Your doctor will clear you of any internal injuries. Damages such as back, neck, and brain injuries might take even weeks to be felt.
You will receive adequate treatment for some hidden injuries that could be life-threatening if not addressed. Seeking medical care is among the most important steps you should take after an auto accident if you want to get your rightful compensation. Let your doctor know how your body is feeling, however irrelevant it might seem.
Seeing a doctor will strengthen your case as you seek compensation. Your doctor will have your medical report to document the treatment provided and the recovery journey. Without the medical report, you will have a harder time proving objectively that you sustained any injuries.
Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
On average, consumers spent $1,004.8 on auto insurance in 2017. Despite investing heavily in auto insurance, you have to prove that you deserve compensation for your claim to be accepted. The evidence you collect at the scene of the accident will be crucial in your personal injury claim.
However, you should only get out of your vehicle if you are able to physically get out, and if getting out is safe for you. You might want to wait for the police if the highway is busy.
After the truck accident, the information you collect will prove that the accident resulted from another driver’s negligence. Take photos or even videos of the damaged vehicles, landmarks, and injuries you have sustained. Pictures speak a thousand words, and they can be your breakthrough to rightful compensation.
In case you’re not in a position to note down or take pictures, audio recordings can be helpful. Request witnesses to give an account of the proceedings as you record everything. People can change details over time as the lawsuits can drag for months, making it necessary to have the records in a safe place.
Exchange Relevant Information with Other Involved Drivers
When documenting, gather information from other drivers. The police might not take all the information deemed necessary when filing for an auto accident injury claim. Get the information, whether in writing or recording.
Note down the other driver’s details, such as the name, phone number, home, and email addresses. The driver’s insurer and policy number are also vital in this process. The other party’s insurance company will be involved in the compensation, and it is essential to know the details regarding the insurer.
It would also be best to get the trucking company’s name and contact and the trucker’s employer. Note down the truck’s license plate number and any relevant information that can be used in the vehicle’s identification.
Obtain the Witnesses’ Contact Information
Witnesses can be bystanders, parties involved in the truck accident, or even a nearby driver though not involved in the crash. The police might get quite engaged in attending to emergency cases, making them oblivious to the witnesses. You can talk with two or more witnesses as their statements will be useful in your case.
It would help if you acted swiftly before witnesses can leave the accident scene. Tracking down the witnesses once they leave will be hard. Take their contact information for future engagements about your case.
With a name, email address, phone number, you can track them for a statement. A truck accident attorney will use the information to compile the evidence.
Notify Your Insurance Provider About the Truck Accident
Your insurance company needs to know about the accident as soon as possible. Even if you do not intend to file a claim, it is advisable to report the accident as you might need to file a claim in the future. Waiting for the trucking company and trucker to resolve your claim will take time.
Informing your insurance company of the accident gives you the leverage of other coverages within your policy. It would be best to notify your insurer within a reasonable period to get the necessary coverage. Even when the at-fault party is paying for damages, your insurance company ought to be aware.
While at it, be keen on the information you divulge. Give them the background information of the accident, the location, time, and details of the persons involved. Consult with a truck accident lawyer before discussing the details of the accident in length.
Avoid Making Statements at the Accident Scene
The scene of the accident is one of the places where what you say can incriminate you. It is normal to have emotions flaring up, but it would be best to remain calm. What you say when agitated might end up being the cause of a denied claim.
You should never admit that you were at fault. Any conversation about who was at fault should be better be left to your auto accident lawyer in St. Petersburg. Even if you had any responsibility leading to the accident, your lawyer is better placed to navigate the issue on your behalf.
At the scene of the accident, you’re most likely vulnerable. Your words might convict you even before the investigations are over. While lying shouldn’t be an option, avoid making any statements that will suggest you are at-fault.
Avoid Making Social Media Updates About the Accident
With more than 69% of American adults using Facebook, you can be sure that your posts get unimaginable attention. Posting about a truck accident might sound newsworthy. If anything, it’s not surprising to come across local bloggers or news stations who have written about the incident.
As much as you would want to share about the accident, resist. Social media can cause you trouble, especially when filing for a claim. What you post or comment about the accident can be used to implicate you.
The best way to share news of the accidents is by making confidential messages or calls to your friends or family. Any issues that have a legal proceeding should remain out of social media! The internet surely never forgets.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
A truck accident lawyer is indispensable in a commercial vehicle accident. An experienced attorney will help to investigate the accident once you provide all the necessary benefits. With a truck accident attorney, you’ll avoid some of the common mistakes one might make after an auto accident.
Your lawyer will help you get the settlement to cover the damages. Insurance adjusters can frustrate you since they want you to accept a lower offer than what you have requested. If you don’t have an experienced lawyer, you might be coerced into inadequate compensation.
With truck accidents, the cases are often complex. You will be dealing with the trucking company, shipper, and the driver’s employer. You need to know several things before hiring an auto accident injury lawyer to ensure that you get the best.
A truck accident lawyer should know about the federal regulations related to trucking. They should understand how to get the best out of a personal injury claim.
Truck Accidents Have Devastating Implications
When compared to other passengers’ vehicles, trucks are quite heavy. A truck accident can have adverse impacts on all the involved parties. It would be best to follow the right steps if you want compensation after a truck accident.
A truck accident lawyer will do all the work for you as you recover. With an experienced lawyer, you will face fewer complications filing for compensation.
Do you need a truck accident lawyer? Beltz & Beltz has experienced personal insurance lawyers in St. Petersburg. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.